Compact stroller showdown: the Baby Jogger City Mini vs the phil&teds smart stroller

Sponsored postWe’re finally ready to transition back to a single stroller after years of pushing a huge double stroller around, and I cannot even explain how excited that makes me. As you probably know by now, we travel a lot as a family, and having a lightweight stroller for our travels just makes a whole lot of sense. So, when phil&teds sent me their smart stroller, I decided to compare it to another compact stroller in a few head to head tests to see how they work for us and our family. Phil and Teds vs Baby Jogger finalThe Baby Jogger City Mini meets the phil&teds smart stroller

First impressions: At first glance, these strollers don’t look much like each other. The phil&teds smart stroller is a traditional four wheeled model in an ultra-slim compact frame. The Baby Jogger City Mini has a triangular wheel placement much like a jogging stroller {incidentally, it is not to be used for jogging}. But, both are compact models with lightweight frames that make it easy to navigate both urban and suburban areas so they presumably have the same target market.Phil and Teds vs Baby Jogger 7Compact fold: The strollers are very similar in size {sizes taken from both manufacturer’s sites} with the smart coming in thinner and smaller than the City Mini in every dimension but height. Honestly, both are small and if that’s something you are looking for, you will love either. For people with small cars like us, this tiny size is a big deal and I appreciate every single inch we gain. Baby Jogger and Phil and Teds folded
Baby Jogger and Phil&Teds size folded
Carry handle: Where the City Mini has a seat strap to hold, the smart stroller has the included stroller bar that you can use to hold the stroller. The strap is ideal for quick carrying of the City Mini, but I would exercise caution when using it because the strap of the stroller we were trying out was already showing its age and fraying at the seams. By contrast, the stroller bar {or grab bar} of the smart is quite sturdy and you can actually pull the stroller behind you while folded as well as being able to lift it by the bar to navigate stairs or other obstacles. Phil and Ted's Smart Stroller 9Brake system: The City Mini has a traditional footbar brake system which connects both back tires, which ended up being my biggest complaint with the City Mini. I don’t mind the foot brake system when it’s on the individual tire itself {as it is with the Britax B-Ready}, but the footbar brake system like the City Mini has the obtrusive rod that I kick while walking so I have to take short strides to avoid tripping. While this bugs me, it drives my husband absolutely crazy, so he vetoed pushing the City Mini almost immediately. He preferred that the smart stroller has a unique light-to-touch handbrake that is located on the handlebar. My first day pushing the Smart I kept forgetting where it was and looking down at the wheels, but after using it for a few days I was already accustomed to it and found myself preferring it over other stroller’s braking systems because I could see at a glance whether the brake was on or not. Baby Jogger and Phil and Teds brakeHandlebars: My second biggest complaint of the City Mini was the narrow shape of the handlebars that seemed awkward and uncomfortable as well as the fact that they are not adjustable for height. The smart stroller by contrast is much more comfortable to push since it has an adjustable handlebar and a wider shape that you find in premium stroller models. This may not be an issue for you if you are used to shorter trips, but we are on foot a ton and comfort while pushing is paramount. Baby Jogger and Phil and Teds handlebarsNewborn ready: Both the City Mini and the smart are able to be used in travel system mode by purchasing a car seat adaptor {or in the case of phil&teds, you could also buy the alpha infant car seat} that allow you to connect your car seat securely. They both can also be used in pram mode by purchasing a separate carrycot, which is $59.99 for the smart and ranges from $159.95 -$209.95 for the City Mini. The City Mini itself doesn’t specifically mention minimum age but they do suggest that newborns should use the carrycot options. The smart, however has a lie-flat sling that can accommodate newborns on up, even without their carrycot. I love the fact that you don’t have to buy a special item that will only be used for a few months, so the smart just makes sense to me as it goes from newborns on up without any added expense. Phil and Ted's Smart Stroller 14Super-slim width: Both the City Mini and smart stroller are undoubtedly slim, with the City Mini measuring at 24.2″ and smart over two inches slimmer at 22.4″. If you are in town a ton, weaving in and out of crowds, visiting small stores, and/or navigating small restaurants, you know how important each and every inch really is. Baby Jogger and Phil and Teds in small spaces
Baby Jogger and Phil&Teds sizeSuspension: This was something that I hadn’t even considered as a first time mom, but I can tell you that good suspension will make a stroller for you. If you ever hope to roll over grass, bumpy sidewalks, or you simply want your little one to nap on the go, suspension becomes your best friend. The City Mini has front suspension which is nice, but the smart has awesome all wheel suspension that gives you an amazingly smooth ride. Phil and Ted's Smart Stroller 11Tires: Like suspension, tire type and wheel size is extremely important for a smooth ride. If you have ever pushed {and swore at} an umbrella-type stroller, this is the info you’ve been looking for: the bigger the wheel, the better it rolls. After comparing the 8″ EVA tires of the City Mini with the 10″ puncture proof aerotech tires of the smart, the difference was clear – especially when loaded up with gear and baby. Baby Jogger and Phil and Teds tiresFolding: In the folding category, you can’t get any easier than the one-hand fold of the City Mini. To fold, you literally just lift up the seat strap and the whole thing folds into two. Crazy easy, super convenient, especially while holding baby. The smart is also easy to fold and designed really well, but it would be hard to do it one hand while holding baby. I would say that the easy foot fold they designed for the smart is really great and slightly easier than every other premium stroller we’ve tried previously. I also love that the smart can stand upright while folded, which is great for those of us who frequent teeny tiny cafes and/or need to fold our strollers up out of the way. Baby Jogger and Phil and Teds foldingStorage: Every parent knows that all day out with baby means hauling around a ton of stuff. Storage on a stroller is at a premium for both, but even though they both have similar size baskets, we definitely preferred the smart to the City Mini. The City Mini storage basket was next to impossible to actually use since it’s not able to be accessed in the back and the basket is hugged right up to the seat bottom on the side {we hear this clearance issue has been addressed in the newer model, but complaints on the City Mini storage access for all years’ models are rampant and there are tons of message boards complaining about how awful diaper bag storage options are}. To make things worse, the City Mini also has a firm “no bags on the handlebars” rule, and you should definitely follow that since we would rate the City Mini as “extremely tippy”. Baby Jogger and Phil and Teds storageSafety harness: While the City Mini has a decent harness that seems safe and secure, we love the 5 point safety harness of the smart. Even though it requires you to click in four straps for 5 point safety, I would rather do that any day than use the awkwardly connecting straps on literally every other stroller harness we have ever used. Seriously. I also adore how easy it is to adjust the straps to different sized children on the go. Since our test had us putting in an infant, a toddler, and a 6 year old over and over again, this easy strap adjustment and harness re-threading of the smart gets super high marks from us. Baby Jogger and Phil and Teds strapsSeat height and width: the City Mini has a nice 19.7″ seat height and 12.4″ width, but it doesn’t come close to comparing to the spacious 24″ seat height and 14″ seat width of the smart stroller. Since we are mostly hauling toddlers and older kids on our long days out with kiddos, this huge seat and tall canopy are the best things ever. Phil and Ted vs Babby Jogger
Baby Jogger and Phil&Teds seat sizeSun canopy: The City Mini and smart both have great canopies with awesome sun and rain coverage for baby with a peek-a-boo window. They are both 50+ UP rated and offer great coverage, but the smart has a great zip out extension that we love that allows the canopy to reach all the way to the stroller bar. Phil and Ted's vs Babby Jogger 4Premium features: The smart stroller is packed with premium features that aren’t available {or are add-ons that tack on $$} for the City Mini. Little extras like the upgraded straps, adjustable foot rest, the silver-lined sun shade, included stroller bar, all-wheel suspension, and the included netting in the underside of the smart seat go a long way towards making both parents and baby happy. Phil and Ted's Smart Stroller 2
Phil and Ted's Smart Stroller 22Phil and Ted's Smart Stroller 19Phil and Ted's Smart Stroller 15
Baby Jogger and Phil&Teds premium features Phil and Teds accessories and add onsFinal remarks: If you are looking for a lightweight stroller that you can use for around town, while traveling, and for all day comfort from birth on up to large toddlers, the smart stroller is the obvious choice. Not only does it get high marks in literally every category, it’s priced right and has tons of premium features that you just can’t find in low- or mid-range strollers. You will love that it is easy to push and navigate through town, even in tight quarters. And, even though it’s compact and narrow, it still manages to be well-balanced and doesn’t feel tippy or unstable while using.

Want to find out more? Check out the smart stroller phil&teds page for videos, more details, accessories and more.Phil and Ted's vs Babby Jogger 3 Phil and Ted's Smart Stroller

12 thoughts on “Compact stroller showdown: the Baby Jogger City Mini vs the phil&teds smart stroller”

  1. I’ve heard such great things about the City Mini and was wondering if I would give it a shot when I found one on Craigslist. I guess not ? I’m holding out for the SMART now!

  2. This is great! I was just talking about how much I didn’t like my cousin’s City Mini but I didn’t know what else to research. The Smart looks amazing!

  3. This was a very informative review. I have been looking for a smaller stroller and this review has been a great help in choosing one. I think the Smart is the choice to make!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.